The Golden State Warriors came off their second championship defense in three years and have the best postseason record since the 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers. However, they have struggled so far in the National Basketball Association pre-season. The Warriors have faced both the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves, with a record of 1-2.
The Warriors have been starting a solid, first string line-up, including their big three in Curry, Durant and Thompson. Double digits for those three were not enough to stop the Nuggets on Sept. 30. One of the Warriors major struggles in the early preseason is, surprisingly, three-pointers. The Warriors only converted 12.1 percent against Denver, including all nine of their first-quarter attempts. The Warriors also recorded 14 turnovers, and 28 personal fouls.
Three-pointers are not something that the Warriors normally struggle with especially with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in the starting five. Last season the Warriors’ never went below 25 percent from three; their lowest three-point percentage was 25.9 percent against Boston. Golden State’s two young players, Nick Young and Jordan Bell, added six and four points, respectively, in their first games as Warriors.
The Warriors then traveled to Shanghai, China, where they held two exhibition games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, where the Warriors split the two-game series. In game one, the Warriors struggled from beyond the arc against, going 10-31, and committed 19 total turnovers.
Nick Young and Jordan Bell did not make much noise in for themselves in this game, playing 16 minutes and seven minutes while going 3-8 and 2-3 from the floor, respectively. However, in the second game against Minnesota, the Warriors did not struggle from beyond the arc, going 20-32. Nick Young did not play, but his drafted counterpart, Jordan Bell, was fantastic. Bell played 7 minutes and went 5-5 from the floor, showing that he will be an important part of the team this season.
In the Warriors’ second game against the Timberwolves, the Dubs turned the ball over almost 30 times. The Warriors need to improve in this category. The Warriors turned their low field goal percentages around by shooting almost 50 percent from the floor and 30.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Golden State has been outscored 261-336 in their first three preseason games this year. During last season’s pre-season, the Warriors outscored their opponents 789-711, playing seven total games.
Golden State will have to compete with bigger “super teams” in Cleveland (0-2) and San Antonio (1-1) this season. The Cleveland Cavaliers have added big names to their starting five, including Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose while trading Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas. While the Spurs out of San Antonio have not made any major signings during the offseason, their starting five is one of the most dangerous five in the NBA headed by Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. The Warriors must fix their shooting percentages and turnover ratios before they face these two teams during the regular season.
Additionally, the Golden State Warriors have officially put in a bid to host the 2021 All-Star Game on Friday. If the Warriors do secure the All-Star Game in 2021, it would be held in the new Chase Center here in San Francisco.
Golden State will finish their preseason on Oct. 13 against Sacramento, before starting their regular season four days later at Oracle Arena against Houston and 10:30 p.m. on TNT.
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